Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Double Dare Turns 30 and Nick at Nite Will Celebrate; Remembering Sitcom Writer and Producer Austin "Rocky" Kalish

Double Dare

On your mark, get set, go! In celebration of the 30th anniversary year of Double Dare, which originally launched on Oct. 6, 1986, Nickelodeon will reunite original host Marc Summers with his beloved announcer Harvey and right-hand woman Robin, for a brand-new commemorative special premiering Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nick at Nite. Featuring vintage footage, behind-the-scenes content and messy new games taped this year, the half-hour special will let fans revisit their favorite game show from their childhood. The special will encore at 10 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon's The Splat, the network's programming block dedicated to Nick's legendary library of hits from the '90s and 2000s. Double Dare originally aired from 1986-1993 on Nickelodeon, making it the network's longest running game show. Hosted by Summers, the series consisted of two-member teams of kids competing to win cash and prizes by answering trivia questions, completing messy, physical challenges and facing the infamous obstacle course.

The Double Dare special will kick off a holiday weekend that also includes the premiere of Legends of the Hidden Temple, an original TV movie inspired by the '90s game show of the same name, on Saturday, Nov. 26, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT). The new action-adventure TV movie follows three siblings who break away from a lackluster tour in a jungle, finding themselves immersed in a high-stakes adventure comprised of obstacles that they must complete in order to escape alive. The TV movie will feature many elements from the original game show including: Olmec, the legendary talking head; The Steps of Knowledge, the entrance to the temple and launching pad for the mission; and appearances from a green monkey, red jaguar, and silver snakes, among others.


Austin Kalish

Sitcom writer and producer Austin "Rocky" Kalish, who worked on Maude, All in the Family and Good Times, has died. He died on October 5 at the Motion Picture and Television Fund retirement home in Woodland Hills, California. Mr. Kalish was 95.

Kalish married his wife Irma in 1948. They wrote for The Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Show for radio before moving to television. His early television credits included Meet Corliss Archer, The Colgate Comedy Hour and Johnny Staccato.

The couple co-wrote the pilot episode of Gilligan's Island with Elroy Schwartz. They created the show's characters and named them. They named the damaged boat the S. S. Minnow, which was named after former F.C.C. chairman Newton Minow. Kalish also co-wrote the episodes "Voodoo Something to Me" and "Birds Gotta Fly, Fish Gotta Talk."

Some of his other sitcom writing credits in the 1960s included The Bob Cummings Show, The Donna Reed Show, Glynis, The Patty Duke Show, I Dream of Jeannie, Gidget, My Favorite Martian, Please Don't Eat the Daisies, That Girl, F Troop, The Flying Nun, Family Affair, My Three Sons and Nanny and the Professor.

Austin and Irma Kalish worked together on the Norman Lear sitcoms Maude, All in the Family and Good Times in the 1970s. In 1972, they wrote "Maude's Dilemma," in which Maude decides to have an abortion after an unexpected pregnancy.

They wrote four episodes of All in the Family, including "The Blockbuster," "Archie Goes Too Far," "Gloria the Victim," and "Edith's Christmas Story." In "Gloria the Victim," Gloria is a victim of attempted rape and must decide whether to notify the police or keep quiet. In the cancer-focused "Edith's Christmas Story," Edith tries to get in on the joy of Christmas even though she has a lump in her breast.

They wrote five episodes of Good Times in 1976-1977. They co-produced a total of 48 episodes of the series in Seasons 4 and 5. Some of his other sitcom writing credits in the 1970s included The Bob Newhart Show, Dusty's Trail, Good Heavens and Carter Country.

The couple worked as executive producers for Too Close for Comfort from 1980-1982. They also wrote eight episodes of the series. Mr. Kalish co-wrote four episodes of The Facts of Life and one episode of 227. Ms. Kalish worked as an executive producer for The Facts of Life and 227.

The Archive of American Television conducted an extensive interview with the couple on December 21, 2012.

Survivors include his wife Irma, their son, TV producer Bruce Kalish, their daughter Nancy, and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Mr. Kalish was a legendary sitcom writer. He and his wife Irma were a great writing team who worked on many groundbreaking episodes. We thank them for the many hours of entertainment they brought us over the years. He will be greatly missed.


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Tuesday, October 24

The Middle - "Halloween VIII: Orson Murder Mystery" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
As Halloween approaches, Frankie discovers that a woman had died in the bathtub of the Heck house close to 50 years ago; Frankie and Brick become convinced that she was murdered and, much to Mike’s chagrin, attempt to track down and find the murderer. Meanwhile, Axl and Lexie become frustrated over losing their alone time when Sue insists on hanging out with them wherever they go.

Fresh Off the Boat - "It's a Plastic Pumpkin, Louis Huang" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
On Halloween, Louis is disappointed that Evan doesn’t take his childish delight in the holiday; Eddie and the gang plot to crash a cool older girl’s party; Jessica and Emery are spooked when they hear a strange man’s voice emanating from Grandma’s room, and things get even creepier when a mysterious group of costumed strangers whisk Grandma away, making them suspect the supernatural worst.

black-ish - "Advance to Go (Collect $200)" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Dre brings everyone together for a rowdy family game night and the competition is fierce. The game of choice is Monopoly and as the night progresses, alliances are formed and some are pushed to their limits. Meanwhile, Bow makes it clear how she feels about Junior’s girlfriend.

The Mayor - "City Hall-oween" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
As Halloween approaches, Mayor Courtney Rose and Police Chief Fox (Kristen Johnston) find themselves at odds on how to handle the community’s first annual spook-tacular celebration at City Hall. During the night of the bash, it dawns on Courtney that throwing a party to keep kids safe doesn’t address the bigger issues in Fort Grey and plans to work with Chief Fox going forward. Meanwhile, Dina gets into the spirit by dressing up as Congresswoman Maxine Waters, while Jermaine and T.K. set out to prank Val who has the last laugh when she outsmarts the guys at their own game.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 23)

Tuesday, October 24

  • Ted Danson (The Good Place/Becker/Cheers) - Catch Ted on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Ricky appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Sabrina Carpenter (Girl Meets World) - Sabrina is a musical guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Anna Faris (Mom) - Anna drops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Cole Sprouse (The Suite Life of Zack & Cody/The Suite Life on Deck) - Cole visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Cedric the Entertainer (The Soul Man/The Steve Harvey Show) - Cedric stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
  • Gabourey Sidibe (The Big C) - Gabourey chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat) - Randall appears on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Michael Strahan (Brothers) - Michael is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Michael Rapaport (Atypical/The War at Home) - Michael drops by The Wendy Williams Show at 2am on BET or on your local stations.
  • Yvette Nicole Brown (The Mayor/The Odd Couple/Community) - Yvette talks about her LA road rage, her love life and more on Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Valerie Bertinelli (Hot in Cleveland/CafĂ© Americain/One Day at a Time) - Valerie is in the kitchen with three super-easy slow cooker dishes – like Sloppy Joes and a Pasta Bake on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
  • Joanna Garcia Swisher (Reba/Better with You) - Joanna talks about her show Kevin (Probably) Saves the World – and her friendship with Lea Michele on People Now at 8:30am.
  • Denis Leary (Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll/The Job) - Denis is a guest on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am. He will also be on the AOL Build Show at 4pm.
  • J. B. Smoove (The Millers/'Til Death/Curb Your Enthusiasm) - J. B. is a guest on the AOL Build Show at 11am.
  • Debra Messing (Will & Grace) - Debra appears on Daily Pop on E! at 12pm.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July/August)

Father Knows Best - Season Six Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season Alice - The Complete Fifth Season Rhoda - Season Four Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four

06/13 - The Andy Griffith Show - Return to Mayberry
06/13 - That's My Mama - The Complete Series
06/20 - Workaholics - The Final (Seventh) Season
06/20 - Workaholics - The Complete Series
06/27 - The Jamie Foxx Show - The Complete Third Season
07/04 - Superstore - Season Two
07/18 - Father Knows Best - Season Six
07/25 - Diff'ernt Strokes - The Complete Sixth Season
07/25 - Girls - The Final (Sixth) Season (Blu-ray)
08/01 - Alice - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
08/01 - Crashing - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
08/15 - Rhoda - Season Four
08/22 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Four
08/29 - Will & Grace - Season One (Universal)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest